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Breastfeeding Success!! ~ Maria's Story
Overcoming Obstacles: Breastfeeding Twins
My oldest daughter, Kate, nursed like a champ until she was 14 months old, and I was in the throes of morning sickness with my twins. I naively thought that nursing twins would be only a modest challenge since Kate and I already went through the typical struggles at first and successfully worked full-time. Now that I was hanging up the dress clothes and staying at home - how hard could it be?
The twins, Aimee and Amanda, had no difficulties latching on. They seemed to just simply finish quickly. At their two week well-visit, however, they had lost more body weight than what the doctor was comfortable with. We panicked and quickly started the regimen she suggested. We tried to nurse then pumped and gave the rest to them in a bottle. All the while, in the back of my mind, I was worried about "nipple confusion" and how soon it would be until we could get back to normal. The following doctor visit, the girls were thriving and I was anxious to get back to nursing only, but the doctor wouldn't hear of it. She strongly urged using formula saying it was "for my sake" since the pumping regimen was quite rough. I politely declined and asked for a referral to a lactation consultant. She grudgingly agreed.
The lactation consultant was quick to bat for me with the doctor. She stopped the use of bottles, and taught us a new technique called finger-feeding. We taped tubes from an open topped syringe to our finger, and the babies sucked the expressed breastmilk from there. They continued to try to nurse first, but seemed to tire quickly. We hung in there for two months. Yes, pumping 8+ times a day and feeding both with this method. It took 1 1/2 hours for each feeding and they fed every three hours. Half of my day was spent feeding and my poor two year old felt very neglected. We made sure she had Mommy-time every evening. The babies were growing and thriving so it was worth every minute. Each time I talked with the lactation experts, they said the same thing - "keep going, when they're strong enough, they'll do it."
I started getting antsy and their two month appointment was coming, so we started to push the initial nursing a bit more. I was so eager to show that doctor my stuff. At the appointment, she seemed disappointed to hear we were still with the breastfeeding. It was clearly time to find a new doctor.
Within the week of their appointment, they began to nurse for longer times and seemed genuinely satisfied when they were done. We started offering the finger-feeds for fewer feedings through the day. It worked!!! Within two weeks of this, we were nursing as though there was never a problem.
Aimee and Amanda are now four months old, chubby and smile each time they have mommy's milk. I am proud to say we never gave up and it was worth every second. I know we made the right choices and my babies are happier and healthier because of it!
Kate now loves to nurse her baby dolls when I nurse her sisters. I'm glad she stuck with it too!!